How do you control Purple Loosestrife around a pond?


We have a pond on our property that collects wet season/rain runoff. It’s ringed with cat tails, but also an increasing number of purple loosestrife plants. These are pretty but I know they’re invasive. I’ve pulled or cut the ones where I can’t get the root except for the ones in the pond/deep in the edges. This year seems to be a bumper crop. I don’t want them to eclipse the cat tails (although nowhere near that now). I am wondering how to manage these plants in this location. In addition, a house about a quarter/ half mile from us has a ditch full with loosestrife by the road. I’m wondering if that is where the spread is coming from. Do you have any suggestions for how I can manage my situation. Do I need to be as worried as I am or can the native pond plants coexist/compete with the loosestrife? 


Jonathan Foster, Special Projects Assistant

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is indeed a widespread, aggressive headache and unfortunately it sounds as though it has found an ideal niche near your pond. If it helps in any way, you are not remotely alone in dealing with it. Your description makes it sound like the infestation is not too widespread yet, so I recommend intervening as soon as possible. Once established, the plant is very difficult to eradicate. Please refer to the Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry’s page on purple loosestrife for advice on how to control the plant.